Ikea cultists converge on Massachusetts town

A new Ikea store is opening up in some Massachusetts city, and (as expected) the herds of stampeding, mooing consumer cattle are frothing at the mouth to get in.  They’re camping out in front of the store, having rock concerts, dressing in Ikea colors, and gridlocking traffic.  Some even flew in from other states to camp out and forge lasting bonds with fellow Ikea shoppers.

It’s become a familiar scene. The massive furniture chain’s openings have turned into can’t-miss events for the company’s customers. They show up days in advance – sometimes with their faces painted in Ikea’s signature blue and yellow colors — and stage games in the parking lots.

Tent cities sprouted up outside Ikea openings in Atlanta and suburban Chicago earlier this year, bringing media coverage and a notable amount of buzz. Ikea has stoked the fires by offering gift cards and free merchandise to the first customers in line.

Marketing experts say the frenzied scenes generate extra local interest for the store in the weeks leading up to the openings. And because the customers create most of the energy, the festivities require very little in the way of marketing expenses.

“There’s so much pent-up demand for these stores that the openings have become huge events,” said Michael Levy, a marketing professor at Babson College and editor of the Journal of Retailing. “It’s really a public relations windfall.”

Maybe I shouldn’t care, but it makes me angry to see people acting like hogs at slop-time (especially for hit-and-miss furniture like Ikea’s).  Jesus Christ, people!  Is this what brings meaning to your empty little lives?  Do you really have nothing better to do?  Is getting a free chair or being one of the first 1000 shoppers inside a new store truly the highlight of your existence?  It’s a furniture store. That’s it.  No piece of furniture is worth two weeks of your life, or even two days.  Get your priorities straightend out, for fuck’s sake!  Regain your dignity and self-control, and start acting like humans instead of well-trained monkeys.

Having said that….  Happy Thanksgiving!  I’ll be back Monday. 🙂

0 thoughts on “Ikea cultists converge on Massachusetts town

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  1. Most of our furniture is Ikea, and it is functional and sturdy. Compare these real wood items to Wal-Mart’s fiber board crap for the same prices, and it’s a pretty good deal. I’ll admit that people get a little weird about a new Ikea opening, but then by now it should be pretty clear that most people are crazy and just won’t admit it. So some lady paints herself blue and yellow for Ikea? Big deal, I saw that every week on the NFL or NCAA broadcasts. So people show up days in advance? You mean like for Star Wars? No, you don’t say!
    They call you and me crazy and mentally ill for other reasons, but I don’t think you’ll ever paint your body for a random event, with the possible exception of Halloween. They call us nuts, but we’d never camp out just for a new bookshelf. It’s a bookshelf, after all, not a life altering event.
    I guess my roundabout point is that yeah, it’s crazy to devote this kind of attention to a new store opening, but that doesn’t mean the products are crappy. It just means the customers are crazy.

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  2. Okay, maybe I was a bit harsh – yes, IKEA is better than most crap peddling companies. I totally agree with Barry, that too much junk rules peoples lives and it’s sooooo sad that can only find happiness on a shelf with a big SALE marker on it.

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  3. I suppose getting $5000 dollers would ALMOST be worth it. But the fact that it’s a funiture store just goes beyond me. I’ve waited and hour or two in the rain for a harry potter book, and know people to spend half a day for a games console, but two weeks for furniture? Still, probebly cheaper than paying for a campsite…

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